Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyazi Lesufi, says as the rollout continues for different groups, he hopes the seven percent of teachers who have declined to be vaccinated will change their minds and vaccinate.
“The numbers are still disturbing. We thought when we announced that teachers would be vaccinated that they would rush to the door to be vaccinated.
“We are standing at seven percent of educators who have completely refused to be vaccinated,” Lesufi told the media during his school visits on Monday as pupils returned to school for term three in the province.”
According to the Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona, 125 000 teachers registered in the province, and 93% are vaccinated.
This equates to just over 8 000 teachers who have opted not to vaccinate.
Lesufi believes that seven percent is still a significant figure, but he hopes that the excitement of other vaccination groups receiving the jab will encourage the seven percent to change their mind.
He said “It is a huge number, but the excitement that was brought by those that are over (the age of) 35, we thought it will motivate educators to see that everything is fine, now that we have above 18 (who can register for vaccination on 1 September, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday) … hopefully, the seven percent will change their mind and vaccinate.”
News24 previously reported that almost 10 000 teachers and support staff in the Gauteng Department of Basic Education sector had refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
The department had said that 9 113 employees some with comorbidities had refused to take the jab.
Lesufi, who was speaking outside the Laerskool Kommando in Brakpan, Gauteng, added that they are still auditing who was vaccinated among the 4 000 teachers who previously applied to stay home due to underlying diseases.
“We still have to audit who has been vaccinated of that total, those that are vaccinated, they must come back, those that are not of the 4 000 [group], must check their health status and together with their doctors determine whether they must come back or not.
“We cannot say learners must come back and have 4 000 teachers still staying at home. It is not going to balance. We will find a way of determining those figures,” he said.